New Details Unveiled on Intel's Streaming Television

Saying that Intel is "working with the entire industry to figure out how to get proper television," General Manager of Media Erik Huggers revealed at Tuesday's Dive Into Media event that her company will be getting into the business of Web TV.

Describing the consumer hardware Intel will be using to do so as having "a beautiful industrial design," Huggers said that the service will be relatively full-featured with live television, catch-up television, on-demand, and its own set of apps.

This full-feature Internet television will also include a camera that will observe the viewer in order to allow for a "real social experience" amongst multiple viewers across the country. The camera may also allow the system to determine which shows to recommend to the viewer.

For reasons of better video quality, according to Huggers, Intel will use the new H.265 video codec, which, through powerful and efficient compression, now allows full 1080p video, even much lower transfer and data usage rates.

The service may also be accessible through mobile devices, with an "experience" different than that of the home system/box.

When questioned about whether Intel will be establishing its own separate niche channels in lieu of a collective "bundle" package, Huggers was rather vague about Intel's plans, stating that though she "believes there's value in bundles," she doesn't feel the industry is ready yet for an a la carte channel system.

Huggers continued that no currently available platform can deliver the television experience Intel is anticipating to launch, and that "there's a lot of room for improvement" when it comes to traditional television's guide grid. Digital television seems to irk Huggers just as much, as she complained that changing such channels "takes too long." This is something too Intel hopes to improve upon in its service.

Hinting at the fact that the system will not come cheaply, Huggers deferred to idealistic statements about Intel's television service not being a matter of "value play," but rather one of a "vastly superior experience."

Concluding that support for the new service and hardware box is widespread throughout the company, Huggers said all of this is in aid of goals that are more than just experiments.

"Intel is very interested in a direct connection to the consumer," she said.

This may be exactly what Huggers and Intel mean by including the all-seeing camera as part of the full-feature service.

"My kids may watch programming geared toward them, and I'll watch programming geared toward me," Huggers said. "If there's a way to distinguish who is watching what, advertisers can then target ads at the proper parties."

Meanwhile, Intel's Web TV box has yet to be named, despite company expectations of its being putting out in a year.

"Rome wasn't built in a day," Huggers said. "It'll take time."

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